Last night’s Downton Abbey-esque drama on how Selfridges founder Harry Gordon Selfridge built his empire served a healthy dose of inspiration for modern day retailers on the theatre of retail.
Selfridge was painted as the Willy Wonka of retail who took it upon himself to change the industry. He realised that retail is about inspiring, entertaining and seducing the customer – something we all still strive to do today.
Selfridge developed a blueprint for retailers everywhere and created an emporium which still wows today like it did when it opened in 1909.
He was the first retailer to cater for women and coined phrases which define the sector including “the customer is always right” and “give the lady what she wants”.
I, for one, can’t wait for next week’s installment to see how maverick Selfridge proved his doubters wrong. It’s great to see retail in the spotlight in this prime-time drama and I bet Selfridges’ business will be booming over the series’ duration.